Robots versus labor skills: a complementarity/substitutability analysis
|Title||Robots versus labor skills: a complementarity/substitutability analysis|
|Publication Type||Working Paper|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Battisti, M, Del Gatto, M, Gravina, AF, Parmeter, CF|
|ISBN Number||978 88 68513 665|
|Keywords||Automation, elasticity of substitution, polarization, robotization, technology|
The rise of artificial intelligence and automation is fueling anxiety about the replacementof workers with robots and digital technologies. Relying upon a (country-sector-year) constructed measure of robotic capital (RK), we study the extent of complementarity/substitutabilitybetween robots and workers at different skill levels (i.e., high-, medium- and low-skilled workers). The analysis points to a higher elasticity of substitution (EoS) - i.e., higher substitutability - between RK and unskilled labor, compared to skilled labor. Furthermore, we find evidence of polarizing effects, according to which middle-skilled workers, typically employed in intermediate routine and/or codifiable tasks, are the most vulnerable to robotization. Results turn out to be robust to using different: i) definitions of EoS; ii) computations of RK; iii) samples of countries and industries (WIOD vs EU KLEMS data); iv) skill grouping.